Minister Fast Welcomes Chinese Counterpart Chen Deming to Canada

Strong people-to-people ties fuelling a mutually beneficial relationship, Minister Fast says

September 23, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today welcomed Chen Deming, China’s Minister of Commerce, to Vancouver, where they discussed the potential for deepening the trade and economic relationship between their countries in a balanced way.

“Our government will always stand up for the interests of hard-working Canadian families,” said Minister Fast. “Making it easier for Canadian businesses to increase their exports to high-growth markets like China is part of our government’s plan to create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for workers and businesses. Canada wants to continue to expand its relationship with China, but we want to see it expand in a way that produces clear benefits for both sides.”

Earlier this month, witnessed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and China’s President Hu Jintao, ministers Fast and Chen signed a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA). This agreement will contribute to jobs and growth by facilitating investment flows between Canada and China and by providing a more stable and secure environment for investors on both sides of the Pacific.

The two ministers also discussed, following the August 2012 release of the Canada-China Economic Complementarities Study, the potential to increase the prosperity of Canadians and Chinese alike through appropriate bilateral instruments.

“Our government is committed to continuing to grow the business ties, cultural linkages and strong personal relationships that are deepening our trade and economic relationship to the benefit of hard-working people in both countries,” added Minister Fast.

Minister Chen is in Canada with representatives of 40 Chinese businesses who are looking at collaborating with Canadian companies and institutions, including in the infrastructure and natural resources sectors and in research and development in innovation. Minister Chen will be in Vancouver on September 23 and 24 and in Toronto, September 24 and 25.

China is Canada’s second-largest two-way trading partner, after the United States, and bilateral trade is expanding rapidly. Fuelled by a 27-percent boost in Canadian exports to China, two-way merchandise trade reached $65 billion in 2011, accounting for 7.3 percent of Canada’s trade.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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